22nd-24th July: Learning how to defend against cyber attack

University of Adelaide computer science students are taking a few days out of their mid-year break to boost their knowledge and skills in cyber security.

On 22-24 July, 100 students at all levels will attend the first in a series of events aimed to build their ability to defeat computer hacking and other cyber attacks.

“This will kick-off a series of events run by the School of Computer Science aiming to introduce students to the techniques used for cyber attacks and the defences available to them,” says Research Associate Yuval Yarom, who is co-ordinating the event.

“We want to improve students’ understanding of cyber security so they will have the skills to improve the quality and security of the software they will develop as graduates.”

The three-day event – ‘Starting with Cyber Security’ – will see six different sessions covering different aspects of cyber security. Topics will include circumventing protection mechanisms found in websites, and “reverse engineering” where students will learn to understand what computer programs do without having access to the source code of the program.

“Cyber security is a significant issue for both individuals and the corporate world,” says Mr Yarom. “Cases of identity theft are common and we see many instances of hackers using someone else’s personal computer to launch a cyber attack.”

“There are also cases of industrial espionage and breaches of cyber security for political reasons. The risks for organisations or government are significant. Computer technology drives the daily infrastructure and services we rely on.”

“It’s important that we have the capacity to identify and handle these threats. In these events, our students will be learning how these attacks work and how best to defend against them.”

An interesting aspect of the event is that the initiative came from the student body and the event itself is mostly organised by student volunteers.

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